But First… How About We Don’t Take a Selfie?

Psychiatric study shows there is far more to selfies than you think


Selfies, courtesy of the newspaper staff.

Stretched across miles of social media networks and after being named Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013, the phenomena that is the selfie has taken the world by storm.

With over 100.5 million selfies posted on Instagram and counting, it’s difficult to escape this new trend that consumes the global population. Just as depicted in the new Chainsmokers single, #SELFIE, taking a selfie is apart of almost everyone’s daily routine.

However, psychiatric studies are showing that there is much more depth to taking a selfie than meets the eye. The controversial question still remains of whether or not the selfie is empowering or actually a blow to the self esteem. Scientists have been linking selfies to OCD, depression, anxiety, narcissism and a correlation with a decrease in the intimacy of personal relationships. So in other words: some people are taking this to an extreme, especially Instagram users. People are misinterpreting the purpose of Instagram, thinking that the number of likes on a photo defines them. According to the creators Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger the app was created for users to share their lives with followers – friends, family, etc – through pictures.

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However many people are attempting to use it as a confidence boost.  The positive feedback and comments received help others feel better about themselves. This poses an issue. The dependence upon compliments from others can often fall short. And when compliments are not being racked up, this can take a toll on many people’s self-esteem. This defeats the purpose of Instagram, the whole “fun way to share photos” idea is being completely dismissed. 

You should not allow your mood to be in the hands of someone on the other end of a phone “double-tapping” your photo. If you post a selfie it should not be for the action of fishing for compliments. It should be to post photos that express yourself, all stored in one place for others to view. It should be a way for artists to post their work for the public. It should be for someone to post a photo giving their family the ability to stay updated. It should not be about how many likes your selfie can get, because evidence is concluding that this only has negative effects on people.